When I started writing this column, I came across a wonderful story. A 101-year-old woman became a U.S. citizen with the help of a 69-year-old immigration document after living on American soil since infancy. On October 12, Eulalia Garcia Maturey had her naturalization ceremony on her 101st anniversary in Brownsville, Texas.
I can't but stop and draw a parallel between her story and that of Latino marketing. She witnessed the evolution of the Hispanic population in the U.S. The same evolution happened to Latino marketing. What was once a small, isolated segment in the country is now the largest minority (now representing around 17 percent of the total population) and one of the most important growth opportunities for both marketers and advertising agencies.
But, as in every evolution, paradigms and best practices shift.
Latino Marketing Paradigms
I don't know how many traditional Hispanic professionals would openly admit it, but marketing to Latinos was built on some (old) paradigms that, though only partly true, were very helpful in building an entry barrier.
In a nutshell, Latinos became a target with a different language, culture, and behavior. Let the Hispanics deal with the Hispanics.
With 70 percent of Hispanic consumers self-defining themselves as bicultural, language ends up playing a secondary role. Cultural relevance is the key. Bicultural Latinos live in both worlds; they switch from one culture to another, the same with language. Shouldn't your strategy live in both worlds, too?
As with Eulalia Garcia Maturey, Latino marketing is also becoming official, though its naturalization may not be featured in the news.
What will the future be like for Latino marketing now that it has also become officially a citizen?
Well, that's an excellent question. And that's precisely what we will be discussing in this column every two weeks.
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Gustavo Razzetti is EVP, Managing Director of Lapiz, the Latino shop of Leo Burnett. He has 20+ years of experience in integrated marketing communications in U.S. and Latin American markets.
A change agent, with the expertise of transforming agencies into digital at the core shops, Razzetti has become one of the leading voices when it comes to understanding the new market dynamics of US Latinos.
Former Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer at Grupo Gallegos, president of GlobalHue NY and CEO of Euro RSCG Latino. Razzetti's career is marked by extensive experience working with top consumer brands such as Comcast, Walgreens, Verizon, NestlÃ©, Chivas Regal, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and BBVA, and 200 others. He also served as CEO of Euro RSCG both in Puerto Rico and in Argentina. Prior to that, Gustavo was CEO and founding partner of WhyNet - the no. 1 interactive agency in Argentina.
Strategist by conviction, digital pioneer by choice, leader by evolution; Razzetti has received recognitions that include Effie awards, Gran Prix AMBA, Euro RSCG's CBI Award, and Strategic Planning Director of the Year, McCann Erickson. Many of the campaigns he strategically led won Cannes, Clio, New York Festival, London, and FIAP awards, among others.
On a personal note, Gustavo loves scuba diving, bicycling, gourmet cooking, and fine wines.
June 20, 2013
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